Top Ten Tuesday: New-to-Me Authors I Read In 2018

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, is: New-to-Me Authors I Read In 2018. I’m going to break this up by established authors and 2018 debut authors.

Established Authors

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1. Fredrik Backman. Read: Bear Town, Us Against You

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2. Mariana Zapata. Read: Dear Aaron, From Lukov with Love, The Wall of Winnipeg and Me, Under Locke, Luna and the Lie

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3. Peter Swanson. Read: All the Beautiful Lies 

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4. Jennifer Hillier. Read: Jar of Hearts

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5. Teagan Hunter. Read: Let’s Get Textual, I Wanna Text You Up, Can’t Text This

2018 Debut Authors

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6. Cara Hunter. Read: Close to Home

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7. Carola Lovering. Read: Tell Me Lies

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8. Joseph Knox. Read: SirensThe Smiling Man

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9. T.M. Logan. Read: Lies

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10. Oyinkan Braithwaite. Read: My Sister, the Serial Killer

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Review: Lies by T.M. Logan

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Synopsis from Good Reads:

What if you have the perfect life, the perfect wife and the perfect child—then, in one shattering moment, you discover nothing is as it seems? Now you are in the sights of a ruthless killer determined to destroy everything you treasure.

It’s the evening drive home from work on a route Joe Lynch has taken a hundred times with his young son. But today, Joe sees his wife meet another man—an encounter that will rip two families apart. Raising the question: Can we ever really trust those closest to us?

Joe will do whatever it takes to protect his family, but as the deception unravels, so does his life. A life played out without any rules. And a cunning opponent who’s always one step ahead.

In the tradition of The Girl Before by J. P. Delaney and Behind Closed Doors by B. A. Paris, T. M. Logan’s Lies is an unputdownable thriller that will keep readers guessing until the jaw-dropping finale.

I received a copy of this title via NetGalley. It does not impact my review.

Lies by T.M. Logan will be available September 11, 2018. 

Lies is a well-paced, entertaining thriller that managed to surprise me. The chapters were short and snappy and mostly ended in cliffhangers which made me keep saying “just one more, chapter” every time I thought I would put the book down. I thought the mystery was pretty well done, as well. I definitely guessed some of it, but not all of it, so I really enjoyed the reveal at the end. I did think it dragged just a bit in the middle, though, and could’ve been a little shorter.

While I liked Joe, I did have some issues with him. Here’s the thing about a lot of books with the whole “ordinary guy in extraordinary circumstances” thing. They try to play detective and think they know better than everyone else and EVERY. SINGLE. THING. they do makes them look bad. Joe fell heavily into this trope and he kind of drove me crazy for most of the book. I just couldn’t believe how he couldn’t realize he was basically shooting himself in the foot every time he opened his mouth or followed up some lead. That said, he was still a sympathetic character I couldn’t help but root for.

Technology and social media is an important part of the book and it’s really made me want to go live off the grid. Things like Amazon’s Echo products that listen to you all day every day already kind of freak me out, but I don’t usually think much of all the information my phone records. Technology is terrifying and the way it was so easy to manipulate it to make Joe look so guilty was chilling.

Overall, I enjoyed Lies. I loved that the chapters were so short and suspenseful. While Joe did frustrate me, he was still a likable character that I wanted to see vindicated. I’m upping my overall rating a bit because the end managed to surprise me. I definitely recommend this one if you’re looking for a fast and entertaining mystery.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 4 Stars

Truth, Lies, and the Single Woman: Dispelling 10 Common Myths by Allison K. Flexer

Truth, Lies, and the Single Woman: Dispelling 10 Common Myths

I received a copy of this title from NetGalley. It does not impact my review.

Synopsis from Good Reads:

Single women are neither unloved nor forgotten. Truth, Lies, and the Single Woman: Dispelling 10 Common Myths combats the lies that destroy the joy and confidence of unmarried women.

In her groundbreaking book, Allison Flexer dispels the following myths surrounding single women:

1. Because no one has chosen me, I’m not valuable.

2. God has forgotten about me.

3. Sex outside of marriage is okay.

4. My past can’t be forgiven.

5. I’m not beautiful.

6. Getting married will solve all my problems.

7. There is something wrong with me.

8. The church values married people more than me.

9. It’s too late for God’s plan to work so I should settle for less.

10. My life is on hold until I find a spouse.

Single women will gain practical steps to accept and believe God’s truth and why Flexer says the question, Who am I? is best answered by asking, Who is God?

I don’t normally read non-fiction books and especially not those that appear to fall into the self-help category. When I saw this on NetGalley it reminded me of some posts I saw on Facebook not too long ago about this very topic, so I thought I’d check it out. Also, I am almost 31 and chronically single.

What I liked best about this book is that it was not, “10 lies keeping you from finding a spouse” or “stop believing these lies and you’ll get married!”. It focused on 10 lies/myths that single women may believe about themselves and the harm these lies can cause to our psyches and then the truth that we should believe to live a fuller and happier life. AND this full and happy life does not necessarily involve marriage.

While this book is obviously focused on singledom/marriage, the lessons can also be applied to many other areas of life. Not having the job, lifestyle, or friendships that we want can also cause us to believe things like “God has forgotten about me”, “There is something wrong with me”, or “It’s too late for God’s plan to work so I should settle for less.”

Basically the Truths to combat these lies all fall under the umbrella of trusting in God. The author acknowledges that this is often much harder than it sounds. But by building a relationship with God we can learn to give up control and recognize that He has a plan for our lives, and there is a reason that we are going through the things that we are, or not having the things that we want. Flexer uses scripture to back up all of her claims, as well as help guide the reader into how exactly to go about accomplishing this.

For me personally, the following excerpt had the greatest impact:

During some of those darkest times, I was often drawn to these verses in Psalm 30: “Sing to the Lord, all you godly ones! Praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last though the night, but joy comes with the morning” (vv. 4-5, NLT).

Honestly, that last promise made me angry. I didn’t understand it. After nights of sadness or weeping, I woke up expecting joy – sometimes demanding joy – but it wasn’t there. God, why do you keep giving me this promise of joy in the morning when I can’t find my way out of the darkness?

Over time, I learned that God’s definition of “night” is different from ours. Our night of weeping may go on for months or even years. His timing is not our timing, and his ways are not our ways. On those dark days when life doesn’t seem very abundant, God is with us in the darkness and through the weeping. “Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light” (Micah 7:8b).

And God will bring joy in the morning. It’s a promise and you can cling to it…

I’ve mentioned before on this blog that I struggle with depression and anxiety. I’ve been told basically that I suffer from these things due to the sin in my life and God is punishing me. My faith in God has been denounced by others because of it. Not the best way to help one get over these things, let me tell you. But this passage helps to explain what I feel and believe. God does not promise a perfect life. He does not promise that there won’t be weeping or dark times. However, He does have a plan for our lives and He promises joy. Whatever I’m going through, He will eventually bring me through it – even if it may take months or years. And just like someone’s current state of singleness, it’s part of God’s plan.

Overall, I found Truth, Lies, and the Single Woman to be an interesting read. It is obviously a faith based read, so those that do not believe may not enjoy it, but I think that regardless of ones faith, we all believe these lies some times and it would be helpful to realize that you’re not alone. While this book is geared towards women who struggle with the idea of always being single, it offers insights into many other aspects of life and it really spoke to me in regards to my depression and anxiety. I would recommend this book to those who are struggling with being content with where their lives are currently at. I think I would give this book about 3.5 stars.